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User Topic: MC philosophy. Affairs are a symptom of a failing marriage
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Member # 39337
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I said the exact thing to the MC. I was also in this " bad marriage" and I didn't cheat. The MC said that I would've cheated too but the opportunity presented itself to my dh first. Um, NO! I would not have cheated because I have morals.

The marriage wasn't bad. But when the MC suggested the famous line, " A are symptoms ..." My WH grabbed onto that as his new mantra.

It really stinks because I think my WH needed to see his real reasons so he could fix himself instead of blaming me.

BS (me) 43
WS (him) 48
Married 25 years
Reconciling for 12 years
DDAY 01-16-01
A with my best friend
Lots of children from 24-4 weeks old

Posts: 62 | Registered: May 2013
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Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 3:24 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree that a M is 50/50, but responsibility for specific M problems can be 90/10.

My grandpa, who I respected more than anyone, gave this advice in his speech at my wedding: "you will hear people tell you that marriage is a 50/50 proposition. This is wrong. Both partners must give 100% for a marriage to work."

Of course, no one can give 100% all the time, but if each party only aims for 50%, then what happens when they fail, which inevitably happens since we are all imperfect. There have been times in my pre-A M when I underperformed, and FWH had to pick up the slack. And times when he underperformed and it was up to me to make up the difference. Our M worked pretty well as long as we both had that mindset. It compensated for a lot of FOO issues, but I think we could have dealt with those if FWH had wanted to.

Not to pick on your words, 20wrongs, but I love my grandpa's attitude toward M and what he said means so much more to me than it used to.

Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Nov 2010
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Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 3:30 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The MC said that I would've cheated too but the opportunity presented itself to my dh first.

Try again.

This might fly if all affairs were opportunistic, but so many start with people trolling for attention: Craigslist, AFF, AM. Even FWH, who I think didn't go looking to cheat, had to be open to receiving external validation. I wasn't. Check that. I was desperate to feel loved, but I was not willing to compromise my values to get that.

I think some MCs are idiots.

Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Nov 2010
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Member # 38924
Default  Posted: 3:38 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Rivenheart, nicely said.

It could even be that the BS was 95% responsible for the M problems. But that only justifies D, not an A.

I wish he would have D me instead of dragging me through hell...Now he wants me back, begs for me. Get that! Great.

If you read my profile, you could clearly see how "I" should have been the one to cheat!!! But, I didn't. I "fixed" myself when we got married with IC. I repeatedly asked him to go for 6 years, now he tells our MC he should've gone back then.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:28 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]

Me-BW 36. STBXH-35,Recovering Alcoholic, M6yrs T13. Boys 2 & 4 1/2.
DDay #1 Nov,2012. 1 1/2 year false R & TT. 10 OW PA's 1LTA (W lied to) 3 years.
S Nov, 2013 again Jan,2014
Filed for D Feb,2014.

Posts: 962 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: So Cal, baby. :)
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Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 7:20 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The A was 100% him. But we were not committed to our marriage or being kind to ourselves pre-A. Was it 50/50? 40/60? 30/70?
I don't know.

I do know that we created space between us. That space made it far easier for someone else to squeeze in.

We are now 100% committed to making this work. No space.

Your Grandpa was right cdmommy.

[This message edited by LA44 at 7:20 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]

Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2457 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
solus sto
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Default  Posted: 7:22 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First, marriages aren't 50-50. They're 100-100. Sure, we can't all give it 100 percent all the time--sometimes one partner carries more than the other. And sometimes, the other partner shoulders more.

And furthermore, it may be that one partner is responsible for all, none, or some of the marital problems. So no, you don't have to shoulder 50 percent of the responsibility for the marriage. You're responsible for your contributions only.

As for the affair, that's 100 percent on the cheater.

Affairs are a symptom. They're a symptom of an INDIVIDUAL'S emptiness, unhappiness, whatever.

There are a thousand---a million!---alternatives to infidelity.

Every. Single. Wayward. has the ability to make a better choice.

Every.Single.Wayward has the ability to effect positive changes in his/her life and marriage. Choosing perhaps the single most traumatic behavior is not a "symptom" of anything other than self- and generally-destructive failure of impulse control.

Affairs are a symptom of a failing human being. Unfortunately, the personal failure has far-reaching implications, affecting not just the individual but the partner, children, family, social network, everything.

So no, I don't believe an affair is a symptom of a failing marriage.

It think it's a ticket on a fast train to killing a marriage, though. Because that's always the outcome. Always. Fortunately, couple may reconcile--and a new marriage can be built in its place.

BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 53, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8848 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
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Default  Posted: 7:38 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think the answer to this becomes much more obvious when we remember what is really the biggest issue of an affair. It's not that partner just finds an interest in another person. It's that that partner does it without telling the other partner. It's both the untold breaking of an agreement and the unfairness of a double standard (because the BS is not advised and is therefore still living within the boundaries of the agreement.)

Why should anyone shoulder ANY responsibility for a partner that both breaks an agreement and expects you not to? IMO, *this* is the most important question that a BS needs to demand their WS answer.

Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
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Default  Posted: 7:55 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Another wayward here callimg bullshit. To an outside observer, my H and I had a good, solid M. We got along great, very seldomly arguing and we complimented each others strengths and weaknesses. BUT I was the one who cheated, not my H. He had opportunity, he just didn't take it. I had opportunity, I *did* take it. It was *my* issues, *my* poor coping skills that led me to making the choice to cheat. I've told other, newer WS here that we had three choices: communicate what we perceived the problem(s) were and work to fix it, get a D OR have an A. Every last one of us chose door #3: have an A. By our screwed up logic, having the A was the best/easiest solution.

I don't assign any blame for my choice to anyone but myself. It's entitely my shit to own

[This message edited by Clarrissa at 7:55 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]

BH Cee64D - 48
WW (me) - 49

All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.

Posts: 5891 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: A better place
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Default  Posted: 8:47 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Honestly, if one partner is a cheater...then I'd argue the likelihood is that they were "more" responsible for any issues in the marriage. You don't go from being a stand-up partner one day to a cheater the next. Most likely, in the interim, that cheater was causing problems in the marriage. For many, the WS was already selfish, failing to pitch in, taking their spouse for granted, and so on. In other cases the WS was the "doer" and was harboring resentments for that.

My point is that whatever caused them to cheat (within themselves) - whether that was selfishness or resentment or whatever - they were already bringing that crap into the marriage beforehand.

I dunno, that's my theory, or at least it is true in my case. So I really bristle at "pre-A problems are 50/50."

Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
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Default  Posted: 8:49 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I recently read Intimacy after Infidelity, and , while there were some good points, it pissed me off because it was dogmatic about claiming that every affair was about this or that unmet need or happened at certain specific points in a relationship. Well, about the only need I didn't meet for my fWH was reenacting his CSA! I could not have tried harder to reach him, support him, love him. His LTA was about his unresolved issues that occurred long before I met him.

It pisses me off too that my H's coworkers and society in general assume I wasn't meeting his needs. Well he was always putting less into the M than I was, yet I never considered cheating. I had a big barrier up around me with other men, he had a "well, if you ask nice and don't expect anything in return what the fuck sign" on him.

I take no responsibility for the A or the "problems" of which I was unaware. But I am willing to give it my all in R as long as my fWH is 100% committed.

Dday -9/24/2012

Posts: 1763 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
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Default  Posted: 8:51 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And I agree with Rocky Mtn!

Dday -9/24/2012

Posts: 1763 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
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Default  Posted: 9:07 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


In my situation my WS is a PA that refused to communicate. IC helped him see his destructive behavior. He has self esteem and major FOO issues. He flees from difficult situations and tries to replace people. He has unreasonable expectations and holds on to disappointments without communicating them. This was a recipe for disaster.

I also do not think I am perfect and I had my own issues that needed worked on but they are minimal in comparison. This really doesn't make me a better person but I pretty much had a great childhood and was able to see healthy relationships and interactions during my whole life. IC made me be more empathetic to my WS. It didn't excuse his behavior but I better understand where he was coming from.

We are a work in progress but I consider us in a successful R. I honestly believe that my WS would have acted this way eventually with anybody he married. No one would have been good enough.

So bottom line is I do not shoulder any of the responsibility for my WS's EA.

BS - 39 (me)
WS - 33
DD - 6
D Day - 6/2/11 EA (would have been a PA if the OW was game)
"I'm not going to be the person I am expected to be anymore"
Blue de Chanel Commercial

Posts: 121 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Maryland
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Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

His multiple As were no more my responsibility than my mean hateful words that followed were his. I didn't understand that for a long time. I felt it my "right" at times to lash out at him. I'd say, "WHY am I like this??? I wasn't always! You made me this way!" Well, that wasn't true. My anger was mine to deal with, not reason to harm him also. My reactions were mine to own. I needed to take the courageous step back and detach to be able to figure out some internal work that needed done within me. Likewise, the As were not my fault. They were his decisions, his actions to own. No matter what our problems were, they were never gonna be solved with his sleeping with other women, and while I'm not exactly an ashleymadison guru, I'm pretty sure there's no forum there titled "How can I show my partner I'm in love with them?", so I can't see how online dating/affair sites would have been the solution to our problems either. His choices, stupid choices, and his to own.

"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" (Elizabeth Edwards).
Forever Conditionally Detached

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Pittsburgh, PA
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Default  Posted: 6:33 AM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No, I was in the same marriage & I didn't cheat

Me - mid 40s
Him WH - slightly younger
1 teenager
2 preteens (and don't I know it!)

Posts: 16 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: UK
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Member # 31089
Default  Posted: 6:47 AM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does the cheater have a point when they say that I had no choice but to have an affair?
I think the point would be that they are still full of shit and can't possibly accept responsibility for their own actions.

Regarding bad marriages; Affairs are not symptoms, affairs are causes (one of many). Its not semantics its mindset. Anyone on opposite sides of that fence are of differing moral compass and would likely struggle with R.

I'd find a different MC because statements like that are a symptom of a failing MC credential system.

Posts: 1211 | Registered: Feb 2011
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Default  Posted: 6:51 AM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

joeboo is right - this is what MCs learn in school or something. the general philosophy is just...wrong.
MC training should involve a semester hanging out here to see what it's really like.

his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”

Posts: 5280 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
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Default  Posted: 7:24 AM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

it pissed me off because it was dogmatic about claiming that every affair was about this or that unmet need

In a sense this could be at least somewhat true - the WS has some (perceived?) 'need' that they don't know how to fulfill. Where this argument goes bad is the implicit (and sometimes explicit) assumption that it is the (faithful) spouse that is supposed to satisfy this need.

These needs might be just due to a basic incompatibility, but often seem to be holes in the WS that they don't know how to fill (at least not in any healthy way), aspects of their brokenness that they don't know how to fix. It is not the duty of the marriage partner to fill up the holes, it is the duty of the individual to become healthy, to learn the skills and acquire the tools that they lack, to confront their issues, their baggage, and (learn to) deal with it in a healthy way.

So yes, I do think there are needs (or 'needs') that are unmet in many, perhaps most, WS. But the spouse not satisfying them is NOT the cause of the A, is NOT the reason for the A, it's an EXCUSE for the A. The CAUSE of the A is that the WS has not dealt with their own issues, and chooses instead to act out in a decidedly hurtful and unhealthy way.

Laying these 'unmeet needs' at the feet of the faithful partner is BLAMING THE VICTIM. It is in NO WAY the fault of the BS, neither the brokenness of the WS nor their choice to cheat, to betray in an attempt to fill whatever unmet needs or wants they feel that they have.

Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2607 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
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Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've consulted a number of mental health professionals during this oh-so-fun journey, and not a single one has implied in any way that this is my fault. I classify cheating as a form of dysfunctional coping - some folks become addicted to gaming, some develop an ED, some spend time in the garage... Would any of those things be blamed on the spouse?

I'm lucky in the sense that my WH has never once said this was my fault and has never once implied that I was anything other than a loving, in fact ADORING, wife to him. (If anything, too much so.)

And, regarding that idiotic comment re opportunity... Early in our marriage, I worked daily and closely with someone to whom I was really, really physically attracted to. I mean, really. And he was attracted to me, too. You can tell these things. I developed techniques for dealing with this. It was not easy. But I knew that I could not live with myself if I had done anything about it. I set boundaries. Worked with this guy for 3 years, and had continued contact with him through our extended social network for years after. Luckily this was in the UK before we moved back to the States, otherwise he would have been a prime contender for an RA... I digress.

I think the prevalence of the "it's the marriage" in our culture is due to a lot of things. We like to think that Love Conquers All, so that love can heal another's demons. I find Coldplay's Fix You song creepy for this very reason. People have wildly unrealistic ideas of marriage, and too much burden is placed on marriages, IMO because the larger social fabric is so weak.

That's my pontificating for the day...

BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1061 | Registered: Aug 2012
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Member # 28997
Default  Posted: 8:21 AM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

SI Rule Number 1:

It is NEVER the BS's fault. never ever.

Married 32yrs Me BW 57Yrs Him FWH 60yrs
OWzero 1988 EA?/PA? Gaslighted.
Dday May 28 2010.
OW1 1994(6mths PA, EA 16+ years).
OW2 2002(8yrs PA).
OW3 2009(1Yr PA).
Others???? Status: Not Divorcing..but.."You can't unfuck the goat"

Posts: 2754 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: Australia
♂ Member
Member # 35526
Default  Posted: 1:12 PM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

why are the websites for counselling and lawyers full of statements about affairs being a symptom of a failing marriage? Why isn't our belief the most commonly held view out there in the real world?

Because marriage counselors and lawyers are a business first. Offering broken and dysfunctional people easy excuses for money can be very, very lucrative.

I Divorced Her.

Posts: 363 | Registered: May 2012
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